Sunday, May 26, 2013

Just the Two of Us

I'm a single mom. I have been my daughter's entire life. I did have a man I considered my husband, but we never legally married, and he was not my daughter's father. He's also the last man I had a relationship with, and that was in 1996. I miss him daily, but I love life, and most of all I love that it's just the two of us - just Ashlee & myself...and our furry children. <3 p="">I had Ashlee when I was 22. I knew I was going into motherhood, and the parent dome alone. I had my folks there, and they helped a lot. I am so grateful for them being such a big part of her life. I honestly, do not know what I would have done without them being so involved. My dad was a strong and influential male role model in her life. My mom was such a loving, kind, and wonderfully strong additional female influence for her. My mom taught me to be an independent, strong, out spoken, and true lady, which I in turn taught my own daughter.
The early years of school for my daughter was not a great place. It was a place where she was taught by a tyrannical private school to ignore herself, and do for others, and was taught "you'll never be good enough, rich enough, or pretty enough" to fit in. So, when she came home I reinforced independence, and tried to convince her that she was incredible, smart, beautiful, and wonderful. Basically, I tried to undo all the bullshit that school "taught." I still feel I failed her here. I wish I had never put her in the school. It's the only thing I regret in life. But, I digress.

In the middle of her sixth grade I pulled her out of the school after she fell down the stairs in school, but they didn't call me until the end of the day to tell me she fell first thing in the morning. I have never wanted to beat the shit out of so many people in all my life. Instead, I simply pulled her out of the school. It was the last straw. With years of issues with the school, I was done. So, I took the money I was giving them and walked away.

My mom stepped up to the plate with me and helped me teach her for the next four years. Her Junior year she went into public school, not a great choice, but I wanted her to have better chance with college, and to go to the prom. She graduated having been on the A, A-B honor rolls since she started. The thing about her school life is that it sucked, and sucked hard core. People picked on her, mostly at the "wonderful" private school, or made fun of her and her height. In the fifth grade she was almost six feet tall. So, mean little rich brats would pick on her. Instead of punching the shit out of the snobby shits, she would tell them that "Yes, in fact, she was a FREAK!" I taught her to be proud that she's tall. I told her the next time someone called her a "freak" to look at them and say, "you say freak like it's a bad thing!?!", then walk away smiling. She learned quickly that her life was going to be different, and how to embrace it.
It was from early on that she showed her different side, I have a feeling now that she should have been tested for autism. She didn't talk very much until after she was two. Sure, she spoke, but not a lot. There were other things, but that was the one of the main things. There was also the desire not to be with people her age. She usually wanted to be with me, her grandparents and her great grandparents. She is still this way, minus the grandparents. She's my very best friend. We do almost every single thing together. People tell us all the time that we are holding one or the other back from something awesome happening in our lives. Well, we come from the belief system that if it's meant to happen - it will happen. So, people shut up about it.

My point with all of this is, my daughter is not your normal almost 25 year old woman. She's independent, speaks her mind, cusses, can cook like a chef, hates to clean, can make me laugh like no one else, is incredibly talented and creative, is actually a better photographer than I am, has the biggest and softest heart of anyone I've ever known, will give you her last anything if  you need it, loves the word "sorry", makes a mean batch of salsa, still not comfortable in her own skin, still awkward around humans other than me and her grandparents, knows more random stuff than I do, loves sweet tea, enjoys to travel, one of the best planners I've ever known, has amazing navigation skills, and no, not everyone "gets" her. What I hate is that people don't give her a real chance. They meet us, and I'm super happy, bubbly, loving and very mothering so they'll focus on me and not get to know her. Yes, I am that kind of person, I don't do it on purpose - it is just who I am. I'm "that" happy person. Ashlee, is reserved until she knows you, and even then she won't really let you in - usually because you treated her this way in the beginning. She never forgets how someone treated her or anyone when they first meet, and the next few meetings after that in fact.

See, we have friends that we go places with that when they talk to us - they talk to me. I notice it. Ashlee really notices it. We are both aware that the person talks to me the most, and will actually disregard what she says when she talks at all. Again, yes I'm aware they do this, and if they would pay attention they would notice I say something to them every single time about it, but they ignore it. We have two friends that didn't ever do this to her - one passed away in 2009, and the other now lives in Idaho.

So, my issue is this - if people really believe one or the other is holding one or the other back, then be a better friend to her. Get to KNOW her. I'm the only person on this planet that knows what an incredible, funny, loving, caring, hilarious, beautiful, and tough woman she is. If you would just give her a moment of time, you'd be surprised how incredible she really is. Otherwise, I get all this incredibleness to myself. I'm okay with that, but you're missing out.

I like it just the two of us, and to put simply - you're just jealous. Don't put your insecurities, misunderstandings, and judgement onto us. We're just fine, just the two of us.

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